It can be difficult to choose a honeymoon destination. Couples have to decide if they are looking for a place to relax or a place to sightsee and be active... or a combination of both. Or perhaps you would like something completely different. Maybe you are actually looking to make a difference on your honeymoon by volunteering for part of your vacation time.
You probably would not be surprised to hear that there are volunteer opportunities all over the world. What you might be amazed to learn is that a handful of volunteer experiences are actually designed for honeymooners.Yes, people do spend their honeymoon working on a development, education or environmental project.
If you would prefer to have a planned itinerary, there are several groups that provide package-like volunteer vacations. The best of these programs offer a balance between a true honeymoon experience and volunteer tourism. If you choose the right destination, you can really have the best of both worlds: a rewarding volunteer experience followed by a more-traditional relaxation-and-romance honeymoon.
You can even make your honeymoon volunteer experience (and charities related to it) part of your wedding theme.
If you need some financial assistance to cover your trip, you can set up a Honeyfund account. Couples can open an account and ask their wedding guests to donate money instead of giving a tangible gift. This can work on a couple of levels. The couple can help fund their trip or they can use the money to donate to a charity that they want to support. If your guests are generous, then you may be able to do both.
One of our favorite organizations that focuses on the volunteer honeymoon experience is Kaya Honeymoon Volunteers. They offer different specialized voluntourism opportunities for different regions: Asia, Africa and Latin America. Each honeymoon is rated using three different variables: luxury, privacy and adventure. This helps people choose the experience that is best for their needs. From building houses in Belize to teaching English to the fisherman of Zanzibar, Kaya has well balanced trips that require little planning on your part.
Honeymoon destinations with volunteer opportunities
If you choose to stay after your volunteer honeymoon experience has ended, I recommend two locations that would work well in tandem with Honeymoon Volunteer’s programs.
After two weeks of working on a sustainable building project (creating homes for orphaned children), volunteer honeymooners can spend their next week on their own private island at Cayo Espanto. This is truly a privacy-filled experience. Guests arrive on the island by helicopter or boat, and they spend their days in their own private villa. The resort offers spa treatments, customized meals and a plethora of adventure excursions.
After working with the local fishermen and providing English classes through Honeymoon Volunteers, you can travel to the other end of the island and enjoy your own private paradise at Kilindi Zanzibar. Outfitted with modern amenities, a secluded beach and your own private “plunge” pool, Kilindi can certainly give you a luxurious and memorable end to your honeymoon.
Other volunteer travel programs and resources
Many volunteer organizations offer travel experiences that aren’t necessarily geared towards a honeymooning couple. If you are looking for a few other options, here is a list of some organizations and resources that can assist you with your volunteer experience.
- Projects Abroad
- Volunteer International
- Sustainable Harvest International
- Hands Up Holiday
- Elevate Destinations
- Conservation Volunteers
- Global Volunteers
A few things to note when booking a volunteer experience:
- Most volunteer opportunities abroad will require you to pay your own way even though you will be working. So be prepared.
- Flexibility with your dates will give you more choices for experiences and locations.
- Choose the level of volunteer activity that you feel most comfortable with.
- Research the program you are getting involved with thoroughly and also learn about the area in which you will be traveling.
- Most importantly, keep an open mind and have fun!
Have something to add to the conversation? Use the comments section to share your thoughts with us.